I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I wasn’t super focused. Wait, let me rephrase that: I was super/hyper focused on whatever I was into at the moment, but the ‘what’ changed a lot. Tennis, ballet, Rob Lowe, reading, running, pretending I was Harriet the Spy, Simon Le Bon, sailing, writing – the passions were all fierce. But let’s face it, the keyword there is all.
So, I can’t help but stand in total amazement of this kid named James Brooks. I met him two years ago when I was working with my dear friend, Mathea, on her gorgeous children’s book (with an afterword by Jane Goodall!), I’m Lucy: A Day in the Life of a Young Bonobo (beware, the site is fantastic, but plays music). James was uber-dedicated to the bonobos and the plight of the creatures and people and environment of the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) then, and he still is today.
He’s raised a lot of money. He’s traveled to meet Jane Goodall and the amazing bonobos that currently live in the U.S. He’s spread awareness near and far. But, most importantly, he hasn’t given up. Quite frankly, I don’t think the kid knows what that phrase means.
This blog is about writing and living as a writer. And for me, those two things have everything to do with discovering what fills you up (body, mind, pen and soul) and then figuring out how to let it spill over, into and onto everything you do, touch, say and create. Whether that falls under the guise of writing or running or eating or painting or loving is up to you.
All I know this morning is that James is doing it, clearly and with gusto and a sticktoitedness that blows me far away. So I’m dedicating this Friday to James and his latest efforts for the DRC. Here’s what he’s up to right now (of course I made him write this in his own words – because I’m writerly like that):
I am James and I am 13 years old and I really hope you can vote for me for the 2010 “Youth in Action ME to WE Award.”
I have done all I can to help apes and the people who live near them. My 1000classrooms project gives an income to widows of Park Rangers who have been killed protecting gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; feeds hungry children; protects endangered gorillas; and saves their rainforest habitat. Also, it educates 1000’s about the threats to people, animals, and the environment in Africa.
You can read more if you visit www.1000classrooms.org. I really want to win this award because there will be a $5000 donation and the widows, kids, and gorillas REALLY need our help. Also, it will get more attention to the horrors in the Congo and raise even more money. Your vote could save lives! Please vote here.
Dear, dear beloved readers. Can you imagine how fast we could make a difference for this kid – and the DRC’s children, women and animals? I say we do it…because this is the part that will only take a second, but can have a massive effect. Vote for him – and take another second to tweet and Facebook this puppy, or ape as it were.
Let’s do it for a kid whose heart is indubitably full to burst and runningeth over. And for all the kids who might not ever get the chance to fill theirs up.